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The False “Family Analogy” Argument for a Balanced Budget Amendment

November 16, 2011

Families must balance their budget every year, proponents of a constitutional balanced budget amendment often argue, so why shouldn’t the federal government? This argument has several serious flaws, the most basic being that families often do not balance their budgets, for good reason.

Supercommittee Won’t Get Anywhere Near $600 Billion in Medicare Savings Without Harming Lower-Income Beneficiaries

November 8, 2011

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget issued a blog post November 4 contending that, contrary to a CBPP post last week, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction can get $600 billion in Medicare savings without harming low-income beneficiaries. CRFB listed seven proposals that it said would save $607 billion without adversely affecting those with low incomes.

But these proposals would not get the job done.

Bowles “Compromise” Proposal to the Right of Boehner Offer to Obama in July

November 2, 2011

At yesterday’s Joint Committee hearing, Erskine Bowles offered what he called a “split-the-difference” compromise between last week’s offer from Senator Max Baucus (and some other Democrats) and the subsequent Republican offer. But because the Baucus offer represented substantial concessions by the Democrats offering it, while the Republican offer represented little or no movement by Republicans, the Bowles “compromise” turns out to be a proposal that’s skewed well to the right. Indeed, it’s to the right of the proposal offered by House Speaker John Boehner in July when he and President Obama were negotiating.

Reducing Deficits While Strengthening the Safety Net

October 3, 2011

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairs of the President’s fiscal commission, make an important point in their new Washington Post op-ed:

Government Programs Kept Millions Out of Poverty in 2010

September 13, 2011

Though grim in many respects, the Census data released this morning show that poverty and hardship would have been far worse in 2010 if not for key programs such as unemployment insurance, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), food stamps, and Medicaid. The new figures send a powerful message to policymakers as they consider major changes in these programs this fall.

The Most Terrifying Result of the Debt Ceiling Crisis

August 2, 2011

The most terrifying result of the debt ceiling crisis is not the deal itself — with its tight discretionary caps, its special joint committee that Republicans already are saying they won’t allow to raise any revenues, and its potential for arbitrary across-the-board cuts. Instead, it’s the precedent that Republican congressional leaders say the crisis has established.

Boehner Plan Dumps Long-Standing Protection for the Poor

July 28, 2011

Yesterday’s Washington Post described an important and welcome development: a coalition of Christian groups is urging the President and Congress to shield poor people from budget cuts in the debt-ceiling debate and other deficit-reduction packages.

Clarifying Some Misunderstandings about the “Gang of Six” Plan

July 19, 2011

Some of the early reporting on the deficit reduction plan that the Senate’s “Gang of Six” released today appears to have incorrectly or incompletely described two principal elements of the plan: its reductions in health care programs and its revenue increases.

Bob Greenstein Discusses Economy on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal”

June 10, 2011

Robert Greenstein, the Center’s President, and Kevin Hassett, Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies at the America Enterprise Institute, discussed job creation and the economic recovery on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal this morning.

Bob Greenstein Discusses the Federal Budget with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell

April 22, 2011

Yesterday, Bob Greenstein discussed President Obama’s deficit reduction plan, the House GOP budget, and the ongoing debt limit debate on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”

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